Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Texas Works Handbook
Revision: 14-1
Effective: January 1, 2014

Part A — Section 1600

School Attendance

A—1610  Eligibility Requirement

Revision 14-1; Effective January 1, 2014

TANF

The following persons must attend school full time if they do not have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED):

  • An eligible dependent child age 6 to 18 living with a caretaker and/or second parent
  • A teen parent, even if disqualified, under age 19

A child who is age 6 on or before Sept. 1 of the current school year must attend school.

Example 1: A child turns age 6 on Aug. 31. At the next complete review on or after Sept. 1, verify school attendance for the child.

Example 2: A child turns age 6 on Sept. 2. At the next complete review on or after Sept. 1, do not verify school attendance or impose a penalty for not attending school.

A child or teen parent who is home-schooled is attending school. Accept the parent's statement that the child attends school at home.

TANF

A child age 18, in school (high school, technical or vocational) full time, and expected to graduate before or in the month of the student’s 19th birthday is eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through the month of graduation.

A child who will not graduate until after the month of the studentís 19th birthday is not eligible after the month of the studentís 18th birthday.

Age In School? Graduation Month Eligible?
16 or 17 Yes N/A Yes
16 or 17 No N/A Yes
18 Yes Before or in the same month as 19th birthday Yes, until graduation
18 Yes After 19th birthday No, not after month of 18th birthday
18 No N/A No
Over 19 N/A N/A No

SNAP and Medical Programs

School attendance requirements are not applicable for these programs. For the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), if a child under age 18 works and is in school, the child's earned income may be excluded. See A-1323.1, Children's Earned Income.

A—1620  Determining Attendance

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

After the caretaker and second parent or teen parent sign Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement, verify if the child or teen parent met the school attendance requirement.

Verify school attendance:

  • at each complete review;
  • when curing a school attendance penalty; and
  • at application, if school is in session.

Notes:

  • Consider school to be in session during holiday breaks.
  • If an individual applies when school is not in session and indicates a child is not meeting school attendance requirements and will not meet the requirement when school begins, impose a full-family sanction. See A-2131.1, Initial Application.

At complete or incomplete review, determine if the number of excused or unexcused absences is more than 10 per semester. If the child has 10 absences or fewer, take no further action. If the child has more than 10 absences, use Form H1086, School Attendance Verification, to request verification of school attendance. The school determines if the child meets school attendance requirements, regardless of the number of absences.

At application, if verification is required, pend the application for 10 days to allow the household time to cooperate. If the household has proof of the child's attendance or excused absences for a minimum of five consecutive school days during the 10-day pending period, consider the child to be cooperating and do not impose a penalty.

Note: Accept verification for a different 10-day period if received prior to certification.

During the summer months, verify if a child or teen parent met the school attendance requirement since the last complete review. If the child or teen parent

  • met the school attendance requirement, take no further action. The child or teen parent meets school attendance requirements by
    • being promoted,
    • attending summer school, or
    • graduating.
  • did not meet the school attendance requirement, impose a full family sanction.

TANF and SNAP

The local school system determines the criteria for half- or full-time attendance. A child meets the criteria even if he is out of school because of vacation, temporary illness, or family emergency.

Handicapped children may attend fewer hours than other students. They may also receive instructions from a visiting teacher at home and still meet the school attendance requirements.

A child enrolled in a vocational adjustment program is in school full time.

A—1621  Exemptions from School Attendance Requirements

Revision 02-3; Effective April 1, 2002

TANF

A child meets school attendance requirements if the child

  • is eligible to participate in a school district's special education program.
  • has a physical or mental condition of a temporary and remediable nature that makes it unfeasible for the child to attend school. Obtain a statement from the child's physician specifying the
    • child's medical condition; and
    • anticipated period of the child's absences from school.
  • is at least age 16 and attends a course to prepare for the high school equivalency exam.
  • is enrolled in the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science.
  • is enrolled in the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities.
  • is specifically exempted under another law.

A—1630  Failure to Cooperate with School Attendance

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If a child or teen parent does not meet school attendance requirements, impose a school attendance penalty and apply a full-family sanction.

If the individual does not cooperate with school attendance requirements at ... then ...
application (before certification but after signing the PRA), refer to A-2144, Imposing a Penalty.
complete review or incomplete review, refer to A-2144, Imposing a Penalty.
reapplication if the individual ... then ...
has an open penalty follow procedures in A-2151, Open Penalty at Reapplication in Pay for Performance.
does not have an open penalty follow procedures in A-2131.2.1, Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reapplication.

Related Policy
Form TF0001 Required (Adequate Notice), A-2344.1

A—1631  Good Cause for Noncooperating with School Attendance

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Explore good cause for not cooperating with the school attendance requirement at:

  • application;
  • each complete review;
  • the individual's request.

Good cause exists if:

  • the teen parent has a child under 12 weeks of age, or
  • no one in the home is willing and able to care for the child and free child care is not available through the Texas Workforce Center (TWC) or the school district. The local workforce board should provide free child care paid by TWC.

Accept the individual's statement about a household member not able to provide care. Allow good cause only if TWC and the local school district provide verification that they will not provide free child care.

A—1632  Curing the School Attendance Penalty

Revision 07-1; Effective January 1, 2007

TANF

After a penalty is imposed, the child or teen parent can cure the penalty:

  • by attending school with no unexcused absences for the next 30 days;
  • by claiming good cause; or
  • during the summer months by
    • being promoted,
    • attending summer school, or
    • graduating.

The individual is responsible for reporting when the child or teen parent has cured the penalty or has good cause.

Note: See A-2151, Open Penalty at Reapplication in Pay for Performance, when curing an open school attendance noncooperation for a reapplication under pay for performance.

A—1640  Verification Requirements

Revision 08-3; Effective July 1, 2008

TANF

Verify school attendance:

  • at each complete review. During the summer months, determine if the child or teen parent met the requirement since the last complete review;
  • when curing a school attendance penalty; and
  • at application, if school is in session. Notes:
    • Consider school to be in session during holiday breaks.
    • If an individual applies when school is not in session and indicates a child is not meeting school attendance requirements and will not meet the requirement when school begins, impose a full-family sanction. See A-2140, Full-Family Sanction.

A—1641  Verification Sources

Revision 08-3; Effective July 1, 2008

TANF

School Attendance:

  • School attendance registrar records;
  • Current report card;
  • Form H1086, School Attendance Verification; or
  • Statement from the individual indicating the child is home schooled, if not questionable. Note: If the individual's statement is questionable, have the individual provide copies of their curriculum, study materials, or other proof of coursework.

Related Policy
Questionable Information, C-920
Providing Verification, C-930

A—1650  Documentation Requirements

Revision 11-2; Effective April 1, 2011

TANF

Document the:

  • verification source;
  • date verified;
  • exemptions, if any; and
  • reason for good cause.

Related Policy
Documentation, C-940
The Texas Works Documentation Guide